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Chastain Vies for Strong Run at Dover

(Photo: Josh Jones | The Podium Finish)

DOVER, Del. — Last season, in the midst of his early hot stretch that included two victories, Ross Chastain recorded a third-place finish at Dover Motor Speedway.

Chastain doesn’t have those victories yet in 2023, but he’s continued to put himself in a position to find victory lane. Through 10 races, Chastain has four top-10 finishes and sits second in points. Having been through years without wins to start his career, Chastain said he isn’t worried about a dry spell.

“Since coming out here and racing, I went seven-ish years without winning in this sport. I’m fully accustomed to losing,” Chastain said on Saturday. “I’m a professional loser in my career. I’ve only won a couple times.

“I know how fast our cars are and I know the processes that we’re going through to get back to victory lane.”

One of Chastain’s 2022 victories came at Talladega Superspeedway and it looked as if he had another opportunity last Sunday. On a NASCAR Overtime attempt, Chastain, who restarted on the second row, made a move to go three-wide middle into Turn 1 and unintentionally sent race leader Noah Gragson into the wall.

Chastain recalled that he got a run and took it before the two collided and triggered the crash. He ended up 23rd.

“I just stayed in the line that was the second lane and suddenly was inside of them quicker than I even expected,” Chastain said. “Saw [Gragson] turn back down after I was there and knew it was to late to get back behind him or anything. No intentions to ever be there.

“I go into those [races] expecting to be backward in the grass at 200 miles an hour … I thought we did a really good job of being aggressive when we needed to be.”

(Photo: Josh Jones | The Podium Finish)

Before weather conditions led to the postponement of qualifying at Dover, Chastain logged 16 laps in practice and ranked 28th of 36 drivers on the speed chart. Drivers expressed concerns about tire cording — and also struggled to keep it straight on the track. Austin Dillon crashed in practice and went to a backup and Daniel Suarez, Chastain’s teammate, also went for a spin.

The two organizations that the drivers belong to — Richard Childress Racing and Trackhouse Racing — are aligned and Chastain said that the on-track weaknesses between the two tend to be the same.

“If [Dillon and Suarez] have issues in Turn 3, I’m probably about to have them,” Chastain said. “That just shows to tell how close we work together … we’re definitely on the tight side. We’ll be making big adjustments to free it back up and keep the right front from cording.

“We’ll learn from each other and compare notes, and our car will be turning a lot better [Sunday].”

For Chastain, an emphasis is to remain consistent through the summer months. He has faith in his abilities behind the wheel — he said he just needs to keep having the equipment to do it.

“Allowing my engineers to build really fast Trackhouse No. 1 cars, just letting them do their thing,” Chastain said. “It’s so cool to see our group that we’ve grown from the ground up. From simulator engineers and me as the sim driver, to [winning] two races in 2022. What we’ve done with the 42 car [in 2021 with Chip Ganassi Racing] and now the 1 — a lot of us have stayed together.

“Just really proud that we’ve been able to do it together — I get to deal with my group.”

Weather conditions have led to the postponement of the Wurth 400 to Monday, May 1 at 12 p.m. ET on FS1, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Kyle Busch is on the pole via the qualifying metric.


Nathan Solomon serves as the managing editor of The Podium Finish. He has been part of the team since 2021 and is accredited by the National Motorsports Press Association. Solomon is a senior in the Jandoli School of Communication at St. Bonaventure University. Contact him at

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